Las Vegas, Nev. - September 11, 2013 - The rule for the week at the 31st Anniversary WON Bass Nitro Boats / Mercury U.S. Open had been consistency. The anglers that seemed to fare the best had been those who had managed to put together steady limits, avoiding the wild swings that can happen in a event on Lake Mead.
Rusty Brown proved that one more time on the final day, and claimed the title of U.S. Open Champion.
The Tustin, Calif. pro posted his third consecutive limit weighing in excess of 10 pounds to claim his first U.S. Open victory. His final day limit of 10.81 pounds pushed his three day total to 31.25 pounds and help him eclipse a hard charging Clifford Pirch; a two-time U.S. Open Champion who bagged a 15.48-pound bag to give him his second consecutive runner up finish with a total weight of 30.32 pounds. Day two leader Brett Hite stumbled slightly in his quest for three consecutive 10 pound limits, and brought 9.03 pounds to the Callville Bay Marina scales and slipped to third place with 30.09 pounds.
Brown credited three lures, and his ability to slow down and fish his areas thoroughly with the win. "I knew there were quality fish in the Gregg Basin area, so I just had to slow down and fish back and forth around grass beds to try and trigger the big fish into biting," I caught my fish on a Rapala Skitter Walk and a few on a Vixen, a shad colored Pro Line spinnerbait with smaller sized willowleaf blades and a size 3 Storm Arashi Squarebill crankbait."
He said he used erratic retrieves around grass beds trying to contact the grass without bogging the baits down. he also said that he tried to focus on grinding out the right kinds of bites. "I fished really hard for three days, after a good practice, and knew that if I just kept fishing without getting in a hurry, I would get the right bites," he said. "Everything went great this week, and I couldn't be happier with the result."
He also said he has dreamed of being a U.S. Open Champion, and humbled by the accomplishment. "I can't believe I'm standing here with my name on the same list of the guys I've watched win this tournament for so many years," he said. "I've got great sponsors who have stood behind me in working at this for many years and it's really great to be one of the guys who have won this tournament."
Merlin Nunes of Vacaville, Calif. fished with Pirch on the final day, and his participation in the 15.47-pound limit brought his three day total weight to 31.78 pounds to claim the AAA Division championship. He was followed by Robert Jeannotte, who finished with 30.55 pounds to finish in second place for the third consecutive day. Day two AAA leader Scott Palumbo finished in third place with 28.95 pounds.
The WON Bass Nitro Boats / Mercury Marine U.S. Open Live Webcast was by presented by Costa Sunglasses, the event was also brought to you by Nitro Boats, Mercury Outboards, Costa Sunglasses, Bass Pro Shops, Adoption Awareness, Big Hammer, Bridgford Foods, Cousins Tackle, Daiwa, Frog Toggs, Fuji, Global Fish Mounts, Lobina Lures, Lowrance, Mustang Survival, Optimum Baits, Plano Molding, Pro Boats, Pro Mar, Seaguar, Snug Top, SPRO, St.Croix Rods, Star Tron, YoZuri and Zip Baits